Pink granite on the summit Views from the summit
Cameron Peak is a summit located in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Northern Colorado
. With 1,084 ft of prominence, Cameron Peak is one of the more prominent summits in the Medicine Bow Range. Cameron Peak has a broad, elongate summit that sits due east of its much higher and more popular neighbor Clark Peak
. Although it receives less visitation than Clark Peak, Cameron Peak is one of the more easily accessed peaks in the Rawah Wilderness
and is therefore fairly popular among hikers. This is mainly due to year round access and relatively short approach via the Blue Lakes Trail. Many people will hike both Clark Peak and Cameron Peak in while hiking over Blue Lake Pass
. From the saddle, the scramble up to Clark Peak is fairly short. The views from the top are incredible with awesome views of the entire Medicine Bow Range and views to the Front Range, including Longs Peak.
Cameron Peak Summit panorama
Blue LakeFrom the Blue Lakes Trailhead to Blue Lake Pass-
From the Blue Lakes Trailhead along HWY 14, follow the trail along Wright Creek until it starts to traverse a northeast facing slope above Chamber Lake. Follow this nice trail with intermittent stream crossing until you reach a bridge that crosses Fall Creek. Go over this new bridge and remain on the east side of the creek for a while. Eventually you will cross back over and the trail will spit you out at Blue Lake (5 miles). From Blue Lake, head around the west side of the lake to reach Blue Lake Pass (.9 miles). Clark Peak will be on your left (west) and Cameron Peak will be on your right (east). From the Blue Lake Trailhead to Blue Lake Pass it is roughly 6 miles and 1,553 of elevation gain.
Blue Lake PassFrom the West Branch Trailhead to Blue Lake Pass-
From the West Branch Trailhead along Colorado Road 103, head west along the Laramie River until a bridge crosses it. Follow the trail as it switchbacks up beautiful stands of aspen. Eventually, the trail will traverse above the north side of a narrow incised canyon with the West Branch of the Laramie River flowing below. Around 4.5 miles, the trail meets forks off with the Rawah Trail (this is a great spot to camp). Head more west towards Island Lake and Clark Peak. About 2 miles later, you will reach the fork for Blue Lake Pass. Cross the creek (will be hard in high water) and head up the pass. Switchback up a a steep slope for around 5 miles until you reach Blue Lake Pass. From the West Branch Trailhead, it is around 12 miles and 2,600 ft of elevation gain.
Mid-way up CameronBlue Lake Pass to the summit-
From Blue Lake Pass, follow a use trail east through small trees just at timberland. Eventually, a more defined trail appears. Follow the switchbacking trail upwards until it reaches a gentler slope. The trail disappeared for us here. At this point, one will see a two summits; a north and south summit. The true summit is the south summit, so keep heading more Southeast towards the saddle between the two summits. From the saddle, follow the bouldery ridge to the rock summit of Cameron Peak
The only Red Tape in the Rawah's is the snow. The Medicine Bow Mountains are a notoriously snowy range. Roads to the the trail heads open late May to early June (with the exception of the Blue Lake Trailhead which can be open year round because it is along HWY 14). For current conditions, HERE
. If the roads are still open, access higher wont normally be snow free until mid-June. Bugs are bad in June as well.
Camping can be found all over the Rawah Wilderness and around Cameron Peak. Camping in the Blue Lake and Hang Lake area is closed!! You can pretty much camp anywhere in the area except for next to these lakes. Here are some camping rules and regulations:
-Camping and fire building are prohibited within 200 feet of all lakes, streams and trails to protect water quality, sensitive vegetation and to help assure solitude.
-Camping is prohibited within one-quarter mile of Blue Lake and Hang Lake. Do not camp or use a fire in re-vegetative sites. These areas are seeded with native, high-altitude grasses and need protection to grow.
-Campfires are prohibited in the alpine areas above 10,800 feet. Campfires consume scarce vegetation and leave permanent scars on the fragile soils of the area.
-No camping around Blue Lake or Hang Lake
The closest established camping can be found at Chambers Lake Campground
Also, if your in the area, be sure to check out Rawah Falls right below Timber Lake! There is good camping there as well!
Very cold water in Blue Lake
From Fort Collins to the West Branch Trailhead-
Head west on HWY 14 (Poudre Canyon Highway). Follow the Poudre Canyon Highway for 51 miles until you reach CO Road 103 (if you reached the Chambers Lake Campground you have gone too far). Take a right and follow this road around the east side of Chambers Lake. Follow this nice dirt road for just under 7 miles until you reach the West Branch Trailhead on the right-you cant miss it. For other trailhead information, see the page on the Medicine Bow Mountains
Blue Lake Trailhead-
If you are starting at the Blue Lake Trailhead, instead of taking a right on CO Road 103, keep going straight on HWY 14 for 2.2 miles and until you reach the Blue Lake Trailhead on your right.
External LinksRawah Wilderness
Arapaho National Forest Service page for the Rawah Wilderness
Current Weather Conditions
Current weather for Cameron Peak as forecasted by NOAA.
If you have any more additional information or photos, please contact me or add them to this page. Thank you!